'Pastéis de Banana' are golden crescents of crisp pastry filled with a nutty banana filling. Each 'Pastel' has a bit of subtle cardamom that enhances the banana flavour. These 'Pastéis ' were brought to Goa by the Portuguese when it was colonised by them. The Portuguese adapted their original recipes to suit ingredients that were local to Goa such as combining their delicious pastry with the banana, coconut and cashew nuts that were readily available. We've dug this recipe out of our unique Indo-Portuguese culinary heritage and hope you love it as much as we do! It may seem to involve a few steps but we promise it's well worth the effort! —Preeti
For the Filling
Fresh Coconut Scrapings (or Desiccated Coconut)
Green Cardamom Pods
For the Pastry
Unsalted Butter (Cold)
Unsalted Butter (for greasing the tray)
Chop the cashew nuts into small pieces and toast them in a small pan on medium flame. Stir often and toast the nuts until they turn golden-brown. Once toasted, keep the cashew nuts aside.
Grind the cardamom seeds with a tablespoon of sugar in a mortar and pestle (the sugar makes it easier to powder the seeds).
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a wide non-stick pan. When the butter has melted, add the fresh coconut scrapings (or desiccated coconut). Sauté the coconut on medium flame, stirring often, until it turns light brown and fragrant.
Chop the ripe bananas into small pieces. and add it to the sautéed coconut scrapings. Cook the banana-coconut mixture on low flame until the liquid evaporates and the mixture pulls away easily from the sides of the pan.
Add the toasted cashew nuts, cardamom powder and salt to the mixture. Stir well and cook for another two minutes. Take the pan off the heat and allow the filling to cool.
For the Pastry
In a large bowl, whisk together the self-raising flour and salt.
Using your fingertips, rub the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add in the ice-cold water, a few tablespoons at a time and bring the pastry dough together. Do not overwork the dough at this stage.
Cover the ball of pastry dough with a moist tissue or tea towel and allow to rest for fifteen minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 325*F/ 170*C/ Gas Mark 3.
Spread a teaspoon of butter on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.
Divide the pastry dough into twelve small balls. Dust your work surface and rolling pin with some flour. Roll each ball of dough into a circle (about 4 inches in diameter).
Place a tablespoon of the banana filling onto one half of the circle. Moisten the edges of the circle with a few drops of water and fold the other half over, creating a crescent shape. Pinch the edges of the dough well to seal in the banana filling.
Place the shaped Pastel on the lined baking tray, covering it with moist tissue or tea towel as you continue to shape the rest.
Once all the Pastéis have been shaped, brush them gently with the milk.
Place the baking tray in the oven and bake the Pastéis for about half an hour, until they turn crisp and a lovely golden-brown.
Take the baking tray out of the oven and check the Pastéis for doneness. They should lift off the baking tray easily and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Serve the Pastéis either warm or cold. They may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.